Photo Credit: kate_sept2004
Black-Owned Toronto: From Instagram Page To Storefront
When Kerin John launched the Black-owned Toronto Instagram page in 2020, her goal was to provide a one-stop shop for people to support Black-owned businesses. The Instagram page has now turned into a brick-and-mortar that John says is the first of its kind in Toronto.
“When 2020 started, one of my biggest goals was to support more Black-owned businesses. But it was surprisingly difficult to find and tell what businesses in the city are truly Black-owned,” said John. “I created Black-owned Toronto, in hopes of discovering more Black-owned businesses.”
But what John didn’t know was that her Instagram would become so popular in less than a year.
John also says the space serves as a hub for local creatives and business owners to flourish.
“I wanted a safe space for Black people to showcase and share their work. I created a one-stop-shop for all shopping and service needs. I was amazed by how quickly the platform grew, and how much support every business I posted received. I will continue my work as a Black business activist and continue working to see Black businesses flourish.”
She also launched Black-owned Canada, a national online directory for those who can’t make it into the physical resource space. John told CTV News that it costs $50 for businesses to join and the money goes towards keeping the site up, packaging, and for in-person events.
There are more than 100 vendors online, and more than 500 products from the website can be found inside of Black-owned Toronto, according to John.